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Ocasio-Cortez: Democrats can’t blame GOP for end of eviction moratorium

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) speaks to a reporter outside the House Chamber during the first vote of the week on Monday, July 19, 2021.
Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on Sunday that Democrats cannot “in good faith blame the Republican Party” for the federal eviction moratorium expiring overnight because Democrats hold the majority in the lower chamber.

“I think there’s a couple of issues here. First of all, you are absolutely correct in that the House and House leadership had the opportunity to vote to extend the moratorium, and there were many, and there was, frankly, a handful of conservative Democrats in the House that threatened to get on planes rather than hold this vote,” Ocasio-Cortez told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked who is to blame for the moratorium expiring.

“And we have to really just call a spade a spade. We cannot in good faith blame the Republican Party when House Democrats have a majority,” the progressive lawmaker added.

The federal eviction moratorium expired at midnight on Saturday, leaving millions of Americans at risk of being removed from their homes as COVID-19 cases begin to increase largely because of the highly infectious delta variant.

President Biden called on Congress to extend the eviction moratorium on Thursday, three days before it was set to expire.

A number of House progressive lawmakers slept outside the Capitol on Friday to protest the moratorium’s expiration.

Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday hit the White House for waiting until three days before the moratorium’s expiration date to call for an extension, arguing that the House was put into a “needlessly difficult situation.”

“There is something to be said for the fact that this court order came down on the White House a month ago, and the White House waited until the day before the House adjourned to release a statement asking on Congress to extend the moratorium,” Ocasio-Cortez said, referring to a Supreme Court order on the moratorium.

“I sit on the [House] Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over housing. … We asked the Biden administration about their stance, and they were not being really forthright about that advocacy and that request until the day before the House adjourned, and so the House was put into a, I believe, a needlessly difficult situation,” she added.

The Democratic lawmaker said the House of Representatives, which adjourned for a weeks-long recess on Friday, should reconvene to extend the moratorium.

“The fact of the matter is that the problem is here. The House should reconvene and call this vote and extend the moratorium. There’s about 11 million people that are behind on their rent at risk of eviction. That’s one out of every six renters in the United States,” she said.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), however, did not reveal any plans to call the House back into session in a letter to her caucus sent on Saturday night.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Jake Tapper Joe Biden Nancy Pelosi
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